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'Quick Help' Page: Why Can't Women Be Priests?

 

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Arrow Question / Issue:

"Why can't women be ordained as priests?"

 

Arrow Answer / Resources:

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There are numerous reasons why women can't be priests. For example...

* Old Testament precedent (God called only Aaron's sons to be priests – women were forbidden to assume such roles)

* New Testament precedent (Christ chose only male apostles, even though he could have chosen his own Mother, the perfect model of virtue, to be a priest if he had so desired)

* According to Scripture, women are in a state of subjection (see Gen. 3:16, 1 Cor. 11:3, 1 Tim. 2:11, Ti. 2:5, Eph. 5:22-24, Col. 3:18), therefore "she can have no spiritual jurisdiction" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

* Women can't perform priestly duties without violating Scriptural precepts (e.g. 1 Cor. 14:32-37,1 Tm. 2:8-15)

* The Church has formally ruled that women are incapable of receiving the sacrament of Holy Orders (this ruling has characteristics of infallibility and is not subject to change or further debate – in fact, the ruling requires the assent of all the faithful)

* A priest acts "In Persona Christi" ("In the Person of Christ") and since Christ is male, it would be impossible for a woman to assume such a role

* Allowing "women priests" would confuse the proper God-given role of the sexes (the priesthood is a fatherly role, not a motherly role)

* Allowing "women priests" would put women over men (which is contrary to Scripture, as indicated above)

* Also, practical level, many things about a woman's nature may be problematic with regard to priestly ministry [a less powerful/forceful voice, concerns regarding emotionality / hormones, "excess compassion" regarding sins, tendency to gossip, concern over appearance, effect of flattery, danger to her person (e.g. when she is alone with men who are stronger than she is), etc.]

Note: For additional reasons why women can't be priests, please try here.


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Other Resources:

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Priest (Topic Page)

Vocations (Topic Page)

Catholic Women (Topic Page)

 

  

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